Posts Tagged ‘beagles’


Posted: 31 October 2009 in Uncategorized
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We decided to do a complicated pumpkin design this year and it turned out surprisingly well!  I present, the Daedalpumpkin:


The Daedalpumpkin

The Daedalpumpkin



Daedal on the hunt

Posted: 11 October 2008 in Uncategorized
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Daedalus does a great job of finding where animals are or have been.  He tends to let the smells consume his attention, though, and he fails to notice when the animal scurries away, mere feet from him.  Today was one such day.  I watched the chipmunks he was pursuing all slip away to safer places.

If I watch this video with the sound turned on, it drives both my dogs crazy.

The mind of Daedalus

Posted: 23 August 2008 in Uncategorized
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Donna is visiting family with Willow, while I have remained behind in Pittsburgh with Daedalus to pack and show the place.  The Jason sweepstakes (hat tip for the great term) have ended, and I may talk about that further in the near future.  Suffice it to say, it turned out very well for me, and I’m glad the stress and monumental effort involved in juggling dozens of phone calls per week and plane trips is over.

As a dog-obsessed person, I am always observing the behavior of my dogs and trying to guess what they are thinking and what motivates them.  Dogs are great creatures.  They are simple in their basic needs:  food and companionship.  Different dogs have different levels of needs in both categories.  For Daedalus, the food need is paramount.  It trumps all else.  For Willow, the companionship need is paramount.  She would rather go hungry than be left alone.  Not that we give her that choice, but she will abandon her food even when hungry for the chance to be petted or to not be left behind when we leave.

So this weekend has given me some time to reflect on what is going on in Daedal’s head.  We watched Donna and Willow pull away in the car around noon.  Daedal followed them with his eyes for a little bit before going back to his sniffing.  Food trumps companionship.  Later that evening, whenever we went out, he would go to the end of the walkway and look out on the street.  This wasn’t his usual pattern, so I assumed he wanted to go on a walk or something.  A white car (not the same white car Donna drives) passed by and parked.  Daedal went freakin nuts.  He never cares about neighbors parking, so I think he must have thought it was Donna and Willow.  Every time I took him out, he would continue to stand watch for them.  Even though food trumps companionship, it was sweet to see how much he missed his pack.

A secondary need for Daedalus is comfort.  During the day, he will find the one sliver of sunlight to bask in.  I’ve even seem him get up and move to follow the sliver as it progresses across the floor.  I normally keep the shades closed to keep it cooler, but I had to lift it a little today to give him a bit more sunlight (below).  Also in search of comfort, he enjoys sleeping on pillows even when on the bed or the couch.

Daedalus - a dog apart

Daedalus - a dog apart

At the dog park, Daedalus is like a dog apart.  He may greet a dog or two, but for the most part he is interested in sniffing.  He immediately goes to the borders of whatever enclosure we’re in and will sniff around the edges.  Most dogs will stick around the center, where the action is, but Daedalus prefers to wander.

Daedalus is an odd mixture of dominant and submissive, so when a dominant dog encounters him, they are often confused.  They will try to hump him, which usually prompts Daedal’s characteristic snarl-bark.  It sounds kind of vicious, but he never bites so it’s really all warning and show.  He only ever escalates with Willow, because Willow is the thorn in his side.  The dominant dog will hear this snarl-bark and back off, not knowing what to make of it.  Whereas with another dog that might prompt a fight, with Daedal they take it seriously.  For a few seconds.  Then they come back and try to hump him again, and the process repeats.  The thing is, when they do it, Daedal doesn’t give a crap about the perpetrator.  He is bothered by the fact that his sniffing is being interrupted.  He completely ignores them otherwise.

Dog Obsession pt. 7

Posted: 8 April 2008 in Uncategorized
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It’s been a while since I posted a picture of the dogs, so here’s Daedalus being curious about a sound outside.

Daedalus\' cute face


Posted: 4 February 2008 in Uncategorized
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Daedalus loves getting up on the window sill, the better to sniff at his treat jar. He can also look out of our third story window to see what there is to be seen. And bark at it.

My lemon beagle Daedalus on the window sill — caught trying to get into the treat jar

Dog Talk

Posted: 17 January 2008 in Uncategorized
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Being in close proximity to two dogs for many hours per day over the past two years, I have come to recognize different barks that my dogs make as meaning different things.

Willow, my Australian Shepherd, has a bark that is very strained, urgent, fast, and loud that she uses to say she is in kill mode.  She uses this bark on things like cats and people or dogs that come onto our property at night.  She has another bark that says, “Pick up the damn ball I just dropped at your feet and play!”  This particular bark makes me want to smack her, but of course, I don’t.  Its insolence is simultaneously annoying and endearing.

My beagle Daedalus has a wider array of barks.  The best is the beagle howl.  This isn’t like a howling wolf, but more of a trumpeting ARRROOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  It is crazy loud and at first it was annoying, but now it just cracks me up.  He has a much more annoying bark he uses to say “Willow has a treat and I want it!”  This bark is loud, quick, and incessant.  He also uses this bark to alert us to the presence of animals.  When we visited my mother over Christmas, he would bark at her ferrets this way.  He wouldn’t attack them outright, since that isn’t really his nature, but he would get very close and bark and bark and bark and bark.  This is beagle breeding kicking in, since they are bred to track game and alert the hunters to its location.

So a new study reveals what most dog owners probably already took for granted.  There really is a dog language that other dogs understand and use to communicate with each other.  Using a neural network, Hungarian researchers were able to detect key features in barks that indicated the situation that caused them.  Accuracy of the software was different based on the situation.  But that the system was able to abstract similarities between the barks was pretty good evidence that there are common barking patterns for different activities.  My hope is that this research will encourage further studies that may be more accurate.  Perhaps being more accurate just isn’t possible, but that would also be interesting to know.

I see a valuable commercial interest here:  create a collar attachment that monitors the dog and whenever it barks, it speaks aloud — in English — the sentiment the dog is expressing.

“Aggression… Aggression… Aggression…”

Fast asleep

Posted: 3 January 2008 in Uncategorized
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My lemon beagle Daedalus’ nose sticking out from under the covers

Daedalus (my lemon beagle) does this thing where he will extend his neck and begin doing some sort of weird coughing, where it sounds like he is either choking or trying to hack up mucus. Usually the episode ends with him opening his mouth wide while not breathing and then producing a loud hack or snort. We have taken him to the vet for this and the vet said he looked healthy but put Daedal on a round of antibiotics since he thought maybe it was kennel cough. Unfortunately, it appears our vet doesn’t know much about hunting dogs.

While at the dog park yesterday, Donna and I ran across a guy with two beagles. One of them began doing the exact same thing Daedalus does, which used to cause us much alarm. He said it was normal for beagles and that his vet called it reverse coughing. I researched it online for a bit and found that it’s actually called reverse sneezing and that many dogs experience it. The cause of the condition is unknown, but various theories state it is the result of an allergy to some scent picked up in puppyhood, an attempt to remove mucus, or some other nasal/pharyngeal problem. It is also called inspiratory paroxysmal respiration.

I think I fall on the side of the mucus cause. Daedalus does seem to hack up something which he then swallows (sorry if this grosses you out). This isn’t any different than humans who as children are usually taught to spit that out when they are sick. Also, we began giving Daedalus Benadryl after the visit to the vet in case it was an allergy thing. He reverse sneezes very irregularly, so it was hard to tell if it was working. Then, while on Benadryl, he did it twice in a 24-hour stretch. At that point, I pretty much gave up on it being an allergy-related thing, though he does seem to have some allergies (eye-discharge is reduced on Benadryl). I’m not ready to make a decision either way, though, since there are many free variables. The extra mucus could be produced by allergies anyway, it would seem.

In any case, the good news is that if your dog does this, it is perfectly normal — especially for beagles and other hunting dogs, but it’s not limited to hunting dogs or any particular breed. Small dogs seem to do it more often, but not by much. Even better news is that there does not appear to be any lasting harm to the dog — the dog is normal before and after the episode. Just some bizarre dog thing.

Toddler Bug

Posted: 27 December 2007 in Uncategorized
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While helping my mother with some pictures, I found a stash of old pictures of Daedalus from when he was a puppy. These were his “toddler” days. He was just insanely cute, wasn’t he? Nellie is the Italian Greyhound and belongs to my middle sister.

Daedalus as a toddler #1

My lemon beagle Daedalus as a toddler 2

My lemon beagle Daedalus as a toddler 3